Environmental and Social Risk Management

Speeches Shim

USAID works with multilateral development banks to strengthen environmental and social safeguard policies.
USAID works with multilateral development banks to strengthen environmental and social safeguard policies.
Gabriela Stocks / USAID

USAID is committed to responsible development that protects our environment and the people we serve. Housed in the Bureau for Development, Democracy, and Innovation (DDI), the Office of Environmental and Social Risk Management (ESRM) works to avoid adverse environmental and social impacts of projects supported by USAID and multilateral development banks (MDBs), as well as ensure that project financiers are transparent and accountable to their stakeholders. ESRM’s work prevents or mitigates harm and makes projects more time- and cost-effective. Technical teams are available to consult with USAID staff regarding DDI projects and activities, MDB projects and policies that impact Missions, debt-for-nature trust fund financing, and the environment through a national security lens. ESRM’s work includes:

Improving the Environmental and Social Aspects of Projects

The ESRM Office reviews project-level environmental and social impact assessments and mitigation plans and monitors their implementation. For USAID/DDI projects, the Bureau Environmental Officer (BEO) Team assists DDI teams with project design, implementation, and monitoring. For MDB projects, the MDB Team tracks MDB-financed projects with high environmental and social risks, coordinates with Regional Bureaus and Missions to conduct in-depth reviews of selected projects, and works with MDBs and their clients to strengthen their environmental and social performance.

Learn more about the BEO Team’s work under Reg. 216. Learn more about the MDB Team’s legislative mandate and access MDB Team reports.

Strengthening Environmental and Social Safeguard Policies

The ESRM Office strengthens USAID/DDI and MDB environmental and social safeguard policies and processes by promoting international best practices, including integrated environmental and social assessments; meaningful consultation; effective mitigation planning, implementation and monitoring; and transparency and accountability. ESRM provides technical leadership on, and coordinates USAID input to, MDB environmental and social safeguard policies and associated guidance.

Debt-for-Nature Programming

In collaboration with the U.S. Treasury, USAID provides debt-for-nature programming through the Tropical Forest and Coral Reef Conservation Act (TFCCA). As the TFCCA Secretariat, USAID works with the U.S. State and Treasury Departments to oversee the effective implementation of the global program with multiple trust agreements in 14 countries. It strives to maximize the conservation impacts of TFCCA trust fund grants, while identifying and mitigating their diverse environmental and social risks.

Learn more about the TFCCA legislation.

Last updated: July 16, 2021

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